What to do if you face eviction or can't pay your rent due to COVID-19
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By JIM PROBASCO
What if losing a job, even temporarily, means you need rent relief or you can't pay your rent? As more and more states impose lock downs or stay-at-home orders to prevent spread of COVID-19, renters, who are among the most vulnerable when it comes to housing security, wonder what relief they could have to help pay the rent or avoid eviction.
Programs for homeowners that prevent foreclosure and provide mortgage payment relief are available from the federal government, states, municipalities, and private lenders. Now, the same help is ramping up for renters. Here's what's available, how it works, and how to get help.
- Several federal, state, and local programs have suspended COVID-19-related evictions for anywhere from 30 to 90 days.
- Rent forbearance is available through some of the same programs that have suspended evictions.
- Additional rent assistance is offered by various social service agencies as well as state and local programs.
- Pending legislation in the form of a $2 trillion stimulus bill may offer indirect help via $1,200 checks to many adult U.S. citizens.
How the Coronavirus Stimulus Bills Affect You
How to Get Mortgage Relief
FHFA Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae Rent Relief
A nationwide relief plan for up to 4 million apartment renters across more than 27,000 properties, announced by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in cooperation with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), lets landlords whose properties are financed with a Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae Multifamily loan defer loan payments for 90 days.To qualify, landlords must show hardship as a consequence of COVID-19, get approval from their lenders, and agree not to evict any tenant solely on the basis of non-payment of rent during this 90-day period. Landlords must contact their loan servicer to apply. Tenants should contact their landlord to find out what they need to do.1 2
Fannie Mae Disaster Response NetworkFannie Mae's Disaster Response Network has published a guide for renters affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19). Through the network, HUD-approved housing advisors provide:
- Personalized recovery assessment and action plan
- Help working with your housing situation
- Financial coaching and budgeting
- Access to Clearpoint’s* Project Porchlight Online tools and resources
- Ongoing check-ins to help ensure a successful recovery
Call 877-542-9723 to access the Disaster Response Network.